Tag Archives: senior living community

New Year – new home

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When they moved into Vista Prairie at Garnette Gardens in Redwood Falls, MN on January 3, Roman and Shirley earned the community’s “New Year distinction.” Sort of like being the first baby born at a hospital, they’re the first new residents of 2023 to make Garnette Gardens their home. Welcome Roman and Shirley to your two-bedroom apartment!

At the ages of 91 and 85, it was a big decision to leave their Redwood Falls home of 13 years. “It didn’t bother us much,” recalls Roman. “The kids wanted us to move, and we did.” The couple heads a five-generation family, including two daughters and three sons, 15 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and a new great-great grandson.

As home transitions go, it didn’t rank nearly as high as the decision Roman and Shirley made to move into Redwood Falls. That 2009 move came after 42 years of cultivating and caring for a 240-acre row-crop farm in Redwood County, west of town. One of their sons is farming that land now, in addition to several hundred acres of his own.

And two other factors made the move make even more sense. The couple’s eldest daughter used to be on Garnette Gardens’ staff. She started the ball rolling. And after the move, they discovered that Linda, a long-time Redwood Falls neighbor, lives just down the hall.

Three meals a day and the laundry service highlight the community’s benefits so far. Then there’s the exercise. “We’re supposed to walk a lot,” Roman says. “We can go up and down the hall and get a lot more exercise than we could at home.”

Garnette Gardens offers 62 one and two-bedroom apartments for seniors who value their independence but need options for personal care and supportive services. We also offer 16 memory care suites. Nine care suites round out the options, offering a higher level of assisted living care and supervision.

Bon appétit

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Jennie Marcus wants to take your order at Vista Prairie at Copperleaf in Willmar, MN. Would you prefer the Daily Chef’s Selection or are you in the mood for a hot panini sandwich today? If so, you should try the Chicken Caprese with mozzarella cheese, tomato and a balsamic glaze, served on artisan bread. Copperleaf’s North Winds Fine Dining menu will soon feature these choices and many more, in addition to yummy breakfasts, served each morning until 10 a.m.

It’s all about choice and flexibility. “We all look forward to our next meal,” says Jennie, Copperleaf’s Executive Director. “For residents to have choice on when and what they want to eat, and who they want to eat with, is going to make a huge difference in our services. They can also invite their families to come and get something from the restaurant.”

The dining experience will change for Copperleaf’s 24 memory care suites as well. The former dining room in that section has been converted to new activity space. The new dining area will have facilities to enable residents to eat when they want to. “It will allow the staff to do more one-on-one care with them,” Jennie explains.

Jennie says the residents have enjoyed watching the progress so far with the $1.5 million renovation in the kitchen, and throughout Copperleaf’s public spaces. “One of our huge landmarks was moving the grand piano upstairs,” she recounts. “That was an emotional day. Now that it’s on the mezzanine level it sounds so beautiful. I think it was always meant to be up there; the acoustics are so nice.”

When spring comes, Copperleaf still plans to create an outdoor dining area with views of the marsh behind the building and a pergola for shade. “We’ll be coming to residents and members of the community for financial support to go beyond our renovation budget,” Jennie said. The community offers 55 one-and-two-bedroom assisted living apartments and seven care suites in addition to memory care. Compassion, smiles and fine dining all around.

Still teaching, still learning

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Le is learning how to better navigate her cell phone, a constant companion. She moved to Vista Prairie at Fieldcrest in Sheldon, Iowa to be closer to two sisters and her physician, as they assist her in navigating the challenges of Parkinson’s Disease. That also is a constant learning experience.

She got her education degree at Augustana in Sioux Falls, SD, and for more than 30 years taught special education in a small school district in northern Minnesota, Kindergarten through high school. She and her ex-husband, also a teacher, lived and taught in Orr, MN, the gateway to Voyageur’s National Park.

“We lived in 10 acres of woods,” Le recounts. “We heated by wood and sawed our own lumber. At times we drug eight-foot lengths out of the forest.” It was a family affair, putting up wood for the winter, usually many cords for each heating season. They also had a large garden and butchered their own chickens.

Five years ago, Le traded tall trees for tall corn in northwest Iowa, where she’s now better equipped to cope with her Parkinson’s Disease. She’s hoping there will be some lessons from her trials for her two sisters and two brothers who are all younger.

Le devoted her entire career to helping kids with disabilities. Now, at the age of 77, she’s devoted to managing her own disability, “I try to do as many of my exercises as I can.” She says that while she would like access to a therapeutic heated swimming pool, the Fieldcrest community is meeting her psychosocial needs and it’s great to be close to family.

Fieldcrest offers 69 one- and two-bedroom assisted living apartments for seniors who need access to personal care and supportive services. We also offer 12 memory care suites that provide a long-term option for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

American Heart Month

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Did you know? February is American Heart Month.

This year, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) launched #OurHearts, a national campaign to encourage and motivate everyone to adopt heart healthy behaviors. It’s promoted as a team effort because when people work together it’s easier to be successful.

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Seniors

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Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 every year. It’s usually a reminder to celebrate the love in our lives, whether that’s your spouse, family members or friends.

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